Indoor Rower Sliding Seat Use

The use of a sliding seat is what sets apart competitive rowing from traditional rowing in a rowboat. On a fixed seat, the rower can only use arms and body to take short strokes. In a rowing shell, the addition of a sliding seat means that the power of the legs can be used, and longer strokes propel the boat. The seated position of rowing makes the sport low impact, and thus, more accessible for different sizes and abilities.

Exercising in a seated position, puts the muscles of the gluteus maximus to work—while also being sat upon!

It is important not to wear loose clothing such as long shirts or loose shorts that can get caught in the seat rollers. We recommend tucking in long shirts and wearing form-fitting clothing.

Also, please keep children, animals, and fingers away from the seat rollers. Seat rollers can cause injury.

The seat provides a stable platform for rowing, and you should sit comfortably centered on the seat. Sitting too far forward or too far back can lead to poor balance, as can sitting too far to one side or the other. Sit relaxed. For some people, a wider, more stable base is necessary, in which case our tractor seat can be helpful. However, this adapted rowing position limits the full motion of the rowing stroke and should only be used with that consideration in mind.

One common error is “jumping off the seat,” which may happen especially when an athlete starts to row faster and harder. The athlete can literally end up off the seat and sitting on the monorail in this situation. This interrupts the stroke and points to a few possible technique errors:

  1. “Shooting the slide” (as seen at minute 5:40) pushes the seat back quickly without the body following. When rowing harder, this momentum can push the seat back, leaving the athlete behind! The video gives a few suggestions for staying connected on the drive with the legs, back and arms.
  2. When pushing off the foot stretchers, it is important to keep all momentum horizontal. Any vertical movement can bring your weight off the seat and allow it to roll away. Check your foot positionto make sure your feet are not too low, causing you to push upwards.

For a smooth ride, and to extend the life of your seat rollers, be sure to keep the monorail and rollers clean. All it takes is a quick wipe of the rail and rollers on a regular basis. Black residue on the monorail may indicate wearing of the seat rollers. This is normal: The seat rollers are a wearing part that may eventually need to be replaced.

Concept2’s current seat design is the result of extensive testing and feedback. While this seat works for the majority of our customers, Concept2 recognizes that some of our customers may still have questions on seat fit.

Why is the seat uncomfortable?

While rowing, your butt bears a good part of your body weight, while also serving as a pivot point for the rowing stroke. Moreover, the muscles of the butt (gluteus maximus) have to work during the stroke, while also being sat upon. It's a tough situation!

The seat on the Concept2 Indoor Rower is designed both to support the rower’s weight and to allow healthy circulation. It is also designed to accommodate the diversity of our customers – from Olympic athlete to cardiac rehab patient, and every caliber of athlete in between. It works well for the majority of customers, but there will be some customers who find that the seat does not fit them as comfortably as they would like.

What can I do to make the seat more comfortable?

  • Stretch! Make sure to warm up properly. For longer duration rows where you are not racing, it may help to get off the indoor rower and stretch every 20 minutes or so.
  • Check out our rowing technique videos. If you are leaning too far back at the finish of the stroke, you may be increasing pressure on your tailbone. Try sliding an inch or two forward or backward on the seat. Adjusting your position slightly during your workout can alleviate pressure on any one area.
  • Test rowing in different shorts. Rowing shorts vary in weights and styles; some shorts have double layers, chamois or padding for extra comfort.
  • Adjust your Flexfoot. You should set the Flexfoot so that the strap crosses the ball of your foot. If your feet are too low, the backs of your thighs may rest harder against the front edge of the seat, which may cut off circulation to the seat area. If you are less flexible or a larger rower, you may need your feet a bit lower for comfort. If you row in socks, the Flexfoot should be set a bit higher than if you are wearing shoes.
  • The inexpensive alternative is a sheet or two of bubble wrap. they do tend to pop a bit as you row, but it takes a while for them to totally lose their air. The rowers usually use it for the long marathon rows.
  • We offer a neoprene self-adhesive seat pad that is easy to attach and remove. It is used for more comfortable sitting when rowing long distance. The seat pad is made of high quality material and is specially ergonomically shaped.